Tag Archives: Vida Empresarial

Três Papagaios

Era uma vez na Índia, havia três papagaios. Eles estavam à venda. Um potencial comprador se interessou.

“Quanto é aquele papagaio?” perguntou ele, aponta para o primeiro.

“3000 rúpias.”

“Isso é muito íngreme. O que há de tão especial sobre isso?”

“Bem, ele pode falar hindi.”

O potencial comprador ficou impressionado, mas queria um negócio melhor. Assim, ele sondou, “Quanto à segunda?”

“5000 rúpias.”

“O que? Porquê?”

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Aquecedor de água instantâneo

Meu grau primário é em engenharia da variedade elétrica / eletrônica, é por isso que eu posso corrigir as luzes LED, por exemplo. Eu suspeito que um diploma de engenharia dá-lhe mais de uma compreensão teórica do que o conhecimento prático. Quero dizer, Eu não sou eletricista. Em momentos, Eu assumir projetos onde eu possa ter sido melhor aconselhados a chamar um eletricista.

Recentemente, aquecedor de água instantâneo da nossa empregada morreu, e foi indicado alguma ação de minha parte. Apesar de um engenheiro, Eu estive na cena corporativa tempo suficiente para saber que a resposta certa para qualquer item de ação durante uma reunião é, “Pode ser até a próxima terça-feira.” Então eu perguntei a empregada de usar minha mãe-de-lei do banheiro, pensando que eu poderia adiar esta questão a um dos futuros terças-feiras. Mas a empregada, provavelmente ligado por alguns convênios éticos sagrados de sua profissão, recusou-se a fazer isso. Nesse ponto, Eu deveria ter chamado o eletricista. Mas eu estupidamente decidiu dar uma olhada na prova prima facie. O interruptor parecia bem, com a luz indicadora de entrar como esperado, mas o aquecedor de água manteve-se intransigente.

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Battles muito pequeno para Luta

Há alguns anos atrás, Eu tinha renda significativa de publicidade on-line por causa do meu modelo de negócio em rede que funcionou muito bem naquela época. Em um ponto a empresa veiculação de anúncios decidiu cancelar a minha conta, porque alguns sites na minha rede violado os seus termos e condições. Eles me disseram que não podiam me pagar para os últimos dois meses, porque eles já haviam devolvido o dinheiro para os anunciantes que ficaram indignados com o meu T & Violações C. Lembre-se, era uma pequena fortuna. Mas um par de meses mais tarde, eles decidiram me reintegrar. A primeira coisa que fiz depois de reativar minha conta era para me pagar meu saldo pendente — o dinheiro que tinham “reembolsado” para seus anunciantes descontentes. I, claro, foi bastante gruntled sobre o resultado. Mas a alegria não durou; eles me proibiu de novo um mês depois.

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Uninsured por Padrão

Há muito tempo atrás, Eu tinha um encontro com uma companhia de seguros. Foi depois da minha primeira viagem de volta para casa a partir de os EUA. Durante meus quatro anos nas condições higienizadas e gratuitos vírus relativamente de Nova York, minha imunidade terço mundo natural se tinha deteriorado significativamente, e eu voltei da Índia, com uma infecção respiratória ruim, que tinha parado de responder aos antibióticos meu médico tio tinha me prescritos. Então eu fui para a sala de emergência do Hospital Tompkins County em Ithaca, onde eles determinaram que eu tive pneumonia. O projeto de lei médico veio até mais $450, e teve várias partes a ele, como o X-Ray, honorários do radiologista, honorários do médico, Taxa de ER, farmácia etc. Para pagamento, Entreguei-lhes o meu cartão de seguro de estudante e foi para casa.

Um par de semanas mais tarde, o hospital me ligou para me dizer que o seguro havia se recusado a pagar uma das muitas contas e que eu ainda lhes devia cerca de $80. Eu achei estranho e pedir-lhes para tentar novamente, e voltei para o meu PhD e outros enfeites. Em seguida, a companhia de seguros me disse que eles estavam se recusando porque o procedimento não foi “pré-aprovado.” Mais estranho — como pode uma parte da mesma visita ER têm critérios diferentes de reembolso? De qualquer maneira, Eu continuei a ignorar o projeto de lei, que logo se entregou a alguma agência de cobrança que começou a fazer chamadas para me assediar.

A coisa toda passou por alguns meses antes de eu decidi já era o suficiente. Por sorte, minha universidade tinha um serviço jurídico gratuito. Então eu fui e conheci Mike Matterson (ou algum tal nome) no escritório legal. Ele ouviu a minha situação com simpatia, e aconselhou-me que era inútil lutar contra algumas pequenas batalhas em que você iria perder, mesmo se você ganhou. Mas ele chamou a companhia de seguros e procedeu assim, “Olá, este é Mike Matterson, jurista, ligando em nome de Manoj Thulasidas. Gostaria de fazer algumas perguntas.” Verdadeiro, ele tinha que ensaiar meu nome algumas vezes, mas ele fez toda a salva de abertura parecer impressionante. Finalmente, Fiquei impressionado com este drama de tribunal desenrolar diante dos meus olhos. Mas nada realmente aconteceu e eu voltei para o meu apartamento Danby Estrada determinado para esticar o pagamento de mais algumas semanas, se possível.

Mas, quatro dias depois, Recebo esta carta da companhia de seguros afirmando que eles tinham decidido pagar a conta na íntegra — pré-aprovado ou não. Percebi que um telefonema de um advogado significava algo para a empresa. Isso significava problemas, e eles não querem lutar uma pequena batalha, quer. Eu me perguntei se isso era uma prática padrão da sua parte — recusar um reembolso legítimo se a quantidade é muito pequena para o titular da apólice para travar uma guerra jurídica.

Outro incidente me ensinou que poderia muito bem ser. Um amigo da família de nosso faleceu há alguns anos atrás. Sua viúva sabia que ele, sendo a alma prudente e carinho que ele era, tinha algumas apólices de seguro de vida, mas não conseguiu encontrar os papéis. Então ela chamou as duas principais companhias de seguros aqui e fez perguntas usando seu número de identificação nacional. Ambas as empresas expressaram suas condolências à viúva, mas lamentou que o falecido marido não tinha uma política com eles. Nunca ouvi falar dele, de fato. Poucos dias depois,, ao atravessar seus papéis, ela encontrou as políticas com as mesmas duas empresas. Ela ligou novamente, ea resposta foi, “Oh sim, claro. Desculpe, que foi um descuido.” Se fosse apenas uma empresa, que poderia ter sido um descuido. É mais uma vez parte da política corporativa para desencorajar os pagamentos de política, se possível? Sem seguro até que se prove o contrário?

Se você já teve experiências semelhantes com companhias de seguros, por que não deixar a sua história como um comentário abaixo?

Para onde ir a partir daqui?

We started this long series with a pitch for my book, Princípios de Desenvolvimento Quantitative. Esta série, and the associated eBook, is an expanded version of the non-technical introductory chapters of the book — what are the things we need to keep in mind while designing a trading platform? Why is it important to know the big picture of finance and banking? Hopefully, these posts have given you a taste of it here. If you would keep a copy of the series handy, you can purchase and download the beautifully crafted eBook versão.

Further steps

We went through the structure of the bank from the exotic and structured trading perspective. We talked about the various offices (Front Office, Middle Office and Back Office) and pointed out the career opportunities for quantitative professionals within. The organizational structure of the bank is the apparatus that processes the dynamic lifecycle of trades.

If the structure of the bank is akin to the spatial organization, the lifecycle of the trade is the temporal variation; their relation is like that of the rails and the trains. We spent quite a bit of time on the flow of the trades between the front office and middle office teams, how the trades get approved, processed, monitored, settled and managed. Each of these teams has their own perspective or work paradigm that helps them carry out their tasks efficiently.

Trade Perspectives was the last major topic we touched upon. As we saw, these perspectives are based on the way the various teams of the bank perform their tasks. They form the backdrop of the jargon, and are important if we are to develop a big-picture understanding of the way a bank works. Most quants, especially at junior levels, despise the big picture. They think of it as a distraction from their real work of marrying stochastic calculus to C . But to a trader, the best model in the world is worthless unless it can be deployed. When we change our narrow, albeit effective, focus on the work at hand to an understanding of our role and value in the organization, we will see the possible points of failure of the systems and processes as well as the opportunities to make a difference. We will then be better placed to take our careers to its full potential.

Outras Perspectivas Comerciais

In the previous posts, we saw how various teams view the trading activity in their own work paradigm. The perspective that is most common in the bank is still trade-centric. Neste ponto de vista, trades form the primary objects, which is why all conventional trading systems keep track of them. Put bunch of trades together, you get a portfolio. Put a few portfolios together, you have a book. The whole Global Markets is merely a collection of books. This paradigm has worked well and is probably the best compromise between different possible views. The trade-centric perspective, no entanto, is only a compromise. The activities of the trading floor can be viewed from different angles. Each perspective has its role in how the bank works.

Other perspectives

From the viewpoint of traders, the trading activity looks asset-class centric. Typically associated with a particular trading desks based on asset classes, their favorite view cuts across models and products. To traders, all products and models are merely tools to make profit.

IT department views the trading world from a completely different perspective. Theirs is a system-centric view, where the same product using the same model appearing in two different systems is basically two completely different beasts. This view is not particularly appreciated by traders, quants or quant developers.

One view that the whole bank appreciates is the view of the senior management, which is narrowly focussed on the bottom line. The big bosses can prioritise things (whether products, asset classes or systems) in terms of the money they bring to the shareholders. Models and trades are typically not visible from their view from the top — a não ser que, claro, rogue traders lose a lot of money on a particular product or by using a particular model.

When the trade reaches the Market Risk Management, there is a subtle change in the perspective from a trade-level view to a portfolio or book level view. Though mathematically trivial (afinal, the difference is only a matter of aggregation), this change has implications in the system design. The trading platform has to maintain a robust hierarchical portfolio structure so that various dicing and slicing as required in the later stages of the trade lifecycle can be handled with natural ease.

When it comes to Finance and their notions of cost centers, the trade is pretty much out of the booking system. Ainda, they manage trading desks and asset classes cost centers. Any trading platform we design has to provide adequate hooks in the system to respond to their specific requirements as well. Closely related to this view is the perspective of Human Resources, who decide incentives based on performance measured in terms of the bottom lines at cost-center or team levels.

Middle Office

The perspective employed by the Middle Office team is an interesting one. Their work paradigm is that of queues running in a first-in, first-out mode. As shown in the picture below, they think of trades as being part of validation and verification queues. When a new trade is booked, it gets pushed into the validation queue from one end. The Middle Office staff attacks the queue from the other end, accepting or rejecting each entry. The ones deemed good get into a second verification queue. The bad ones are returned to the trading desks for modifications in the trade entries or possible cancellations.

Middle Office perspective

A similar paradigm is employed in dealing with market operations such as fixing rates, generating cash flow etc. Market operations have their own two-stage queues. Note that the whole flow is to be facilitated by the trading platform, which should have the capability to render different views. It presents a queue-based view of the data to the middle office staff, and a report-based view to the Market Risk Management team, por exemplo, or a trade-centric view to most of the other teams. It is important to each team to have a basic grasp and healthy respect for the work paradigm of the other so that they can communicate efficiently with each other. It is no good ignoring the trade perspectives of the rest of the bank. Afinal, such trade perspectives evolved naturally out of years and years of trial and error.

Are You Busy?

In the corporate world, all successful people are extremely busy. If your calendar is not filled with back-to-back meetings, you don’t belong in the upper rungs of the corporate ladder. Like most things in the corporate world, this feature has also turned on its head. You are not busy because your successful, you are successful because you can project an aura of being busy.

Something I read on the New York Times blog reminded me of an online resource that clearly told us how to look busy. It asked us to watch out for the innocent-sounding question from your colleagues or bosswhat are you up to these days? This question is a precursor to dumping more work on your plate. What we are supposed to do, aparentemente, is to have a ready-made response to this query. Think of the top three things that you are working on. Rehearse a soundbite on what exactly those pieces of work are, how important they are, and how hard you are working on them. Be as quantitative as possible. Por exemplo, say that you are working on a project that will make a difference of so many million dollars, and mention the large number of meetings per week you have to attend to chase up other teams etc. Então, when the query is casually thrown your way, you can effectively parry it and score a point toward your career advancement. You won’t be caught saying silly things like, “Ahem.., not much in the last week,” which would be sure invitation to a busy next week. Sério, the website actually had templates for the response.

Acting busy actually takes up time, and it is hard work, albeit pointless work. The fact of the matter is that we end up conditioning ourselves to actually believe that we really are busy, the work we are doing is significant and it matters. We have to, for not to do so would be to embrace our hypocrisy. If we can fool ourselves, we have absolution for the sin of hypocrisy at the very least. Além, fooling others then becomes a lot easier.

Being busy, when honestly believed, is more than a corporate stratagem. It is the validation of our worth at work, and by extension, our existence. The corporate love affair with being busy, portanto,, invades our private life as well. We become too busy to listen to our children’s silly stories and pet peeves. We become too busy to do the things than bring about happiness, like hanging out with friends and chilling for no purpose. Everything becomes a heavy purposeful actwatching TV is to relax after a hard day’s work (not because you love the Game of Thrones), a drink is to unwind (not because you are slightly alcoholic and love the taste), playing golf is to be seen and known in the right circles (not to smack the **** out of the little white ball) , even a vacation is a well-earned break torechargeourselves to more busy spells (not so much because you want to spend some quality time with your loved ones). Nothing is pointless. Mas, by trying not to waste time on pointless activities, we end up with a pointless life.

I think we need to do something pointless on a regular basis. Do you think my blogging is pointless enough? Acho que sim.

Sobre Desenvolvedores

Unlike quants, quantitative developers are more product-centric. Their job is to take the pricing models (the output of the quant effort) and make them deployable and accessible to the traders, sales teams and the middle and back offices. Their primary unit of work is a product because when the product definition changes, regardless of whether it uses a new or an existing pricing model, they have to integrate it into the system. Even if it is merely a product variant, they have to implement all the infrastructure and take care of the approval processes for its downstream handling. Por esta razão, the work paradigm that makes most sense to a quantitative developer is product-centric.

Quant developer perspective

Compared to the quants, the quantitative developers are closer to the day-to-day activities on Front Office and Middle Office. They view the trades (identified by unique IDs) as instantiations of products. Once booked, they end up in the trading platform database as distinct objects with attributes defined in trade inputs. In addition to trade input, they use market data feeds to price a product in the form of a trade. The trading platform comes with a pricing interface which combines trade information and market data. It also runs in what they call batch mode — regularly at a given time of the day to compute prices and sensitivities of all trades. Since it is the trading platform that performs the batch job, the quantitative developers may take care of the associated resources like the grid computing platforms, market data feeds, trade databases etc. In this respect, their product-centric perspective may get diffused into a trade-centric view.